The movie opens with Alice (Wasikowska) trying to outrun pirate ships with all the confidence and courage of a seasoned sea-captain. Indeed, Alice has been captaining her father’s ship The Wonder all over the world, even venturing along the Yangtze in China but this last attack sees her ready for home and so it is to home the ship is now bound.
Once she arrives home, she discovers all is not well and as she searches for a solution, Alice stumble upon a looking-glass that is most peculiar and you guessed it….steps through the looking-glass.
Back in Wonderland, she finds all is not well with her old friend Hatter (Depp) also suffering greatly over the loss of his family. Can Alice save Hatter …… and perhaps her mother too?
This follow-up to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland explores relationships and love. Of course, the movie opens with Alice confronted with her own relationships choices, her decision to helm her father’s ship The Wonder rather than marry a man she did not love. This not only impacts Alice but her mother and indeed, their entire future. Women are just always so put upon when they don’t act as society expects. This theme runs throughout the movie, in the real world and in Wonderland itself.
We delve into the story of the Hatter’s family and why he is so terribly sad but perhaps the most interesting story explored is that of the sister Queens, the Red Queen Iracebeth (Bonham Carter) and the White Queen Mirana (Hathaway). Their story is one of sadness and betrayal and ultimately forgiveness.
One lovely thing about the movie is the return of the original actors. Bonham Carter is divine as the demanding Iracebeth, the Red Queen and Baron Cohen impresses as the campy Time. The romantic relationship between these two characters is sweet and funny, a real highlight.
I enjoyed Alice but fear it will struggle to find an audience. It is too scary for our little movie lovers (I think if a child is not quite close to double digits, then this movie is not for them). Time and his minions got a little bit scary. So does the Hatter.
The movie is also far too muddled, a zillion characters all vying for attention. A simplified, shaved back version concentrating on a few simple elements would have sufficed. But with all big budget CGI infused movies, the Director takes too many liberties and wants to play with all his toys at once. The result is a confused tale that relies on far too much and delivers far too little.
I was able to pull out the bits I liked and be happy with them but I shouldn’t have to do this. That’s the Director’s job
Love Sue-Ellen xx
Director : James Bobin
Starring : Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Rhys Ifans, Matt Lucas, Lindsay Duncan, Leo Bill
Running Time : 113 minutes
Release Date : May 26